Links 1/21/2024

Study finds bigfoot sightings correlate with black bear populations Ars Technica

Why aren’t there giant animals anymore? New study explains evolutionary shrinkage ZME Science

These Tiny Creatures Become Cannibals After Sex Turns Deadly Science Alert

Astronomers Discover the Oldest Known Black Hole, Breaking a Record Set Last Year Smithsonian

The Black Death’s Surprising Impact on Today’s Oral Health SciTech Daily


Global food production at risk as rising temperatures threaten farmers’ physical ability to work, new study finds

Washington’s solar permitting leaves tribal resources vulnerable to corporations High Country News


The COVID-safe strategies Australian scientists are using to protect themselves from the virus abc

Dr. Al-Aly to room of unmasked Senators: Long COVID comes from COVID The Gauntlet

Old Blighty

How UK Labour stopped worrying and learned to love Davos POLITICO EU

The UK environmental protections dropped since Brexit The Guardian

The Koreas

Miracle in Reverse Phenomenal World


China property: once-mighty developers strain for lifelines of state support after end of sector’s ‘golden age’ South China Morning Post

Will China Move Toward a ‘War-Driven’ Economy? The Diplomat


As Houthis vow to fight on, U.S. prepares for sustained campaign Washington Post. “Officials say they don’t expect that the operation will stretch on for years like previous U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria. At the same time they acknowledge they can identify no end date or provide an estimate for when the Yemenis’ military capability will be adequately diminished. As part of the effort, U.S. naval forces also are working to intercept weapons shipments from Iran.”

US and UK Seafarers to Earn Double Pay for Red Sea Transits gCaptain

How the US created the “Iran-backed Houthis” Nonzero Newsletter

UFOs Are Bombing in Yemen Ken Klippenstein


‘Playground of choice’: Iran mobilises to drive US troops out of Iraq Middle East Eye

Iran and US use Saudi Arabia to swap messages and cool Gaza tensions Middle East Eye

Rocket barrage targets US base in Iraq The Cradle

U.S. general: We tell the Iraqi government their bases are being attacked ERR


Iran blames Israel, vows revenge after Guards die in Syria strike Straits Times

The Baluchistan Imbroglio New Left Review


Israel’s war on Gaza updates: Death toll in besieged enclave nears 25,000 Al Jazeera

Hamas Toll Thus Far Falls Short of Israel’s War Aims, U.S. Says WSJ

European Disunion

US rethinks gas exports, spooking Europe POLITICO

Oil supply tightens in Europe over Red Sea disruptions Al Jazeera

Chartbook 261 A failed project of state-capitalist relations? The Eurozone at 25 (part 2) Adam Tooze

US banks muscle in on the European midmarket Euromoney

Germans protest nationwide after far-fight meeting on deportation of migrants France24

German lawmakers pass bill seeking faster deportations Deutsche Welle

New Not-So-Cold War

SITREP 1/20/24: Russian Gains Resume as Holidays End Simplicius the Thinker

Russian Missile Strike on French Contractor Base in Ukraine Highlights Heated Franco-Russian Cold War Military Watch Magazine

France can’t stop mercenaries going to Ukraine – defense chief RT

Why Ethiopia Just Joined Algeria and Kazakhstan Rejecting French Rafale Fighters to Buy Russian Su-30SMs Military Watch Magazine

Baltic states to build new defences to bolster NATO’s eastern border Euronews

The Crooked Timber of Democratic Peace and the End of History, Part 1 of 2 Gordon Hahn, Russian & Eurasian Politics

Downfall: The Conquest of Germany Big Serge Thought

Imperial Collapse Watch

New ICBM Has ‘Critical’ Cost and Schedule Overruns, Needs SecDef Certification to Continue Air & Space Forces Magazine

Army Has Temporarily Promoted 52,000 Soldiers, But Over 10,000 Still Haven’t Completed Required Schooling

The Air Force Lost A $14 Million F-35 Engine Because of a Flashlight Forbes

Not Ready for the Big Leagues imetatronink

Late Stage Capitalism’s Hostile Architecture LA Progressive

Why American cities are squalid Chris Arnade, Unherd

O Canada

Moose, Maple Syrup and Monopolies: Is Canada Finally Taking on Its Oligarchs? BIG by Matt Stoller

Spook Country

FBI And Secret Service Are Covering Up Their Role In Alleged January 6 “Pipe Bomb” Plot, New Evidence Suggests Public


DeSantis to New Hampshire voters: I’ll bring ‘Live Free or Die’ motto to White House The Hill. Okay.

The DeSantis Team Ran the Worst Campaign in History POLITICO


A ‘Shocking’ Amount of the Web Is Already AI-Translated Trash, Scientists Determine Vice


Can an AI Become Its Own CEO After Creating a Startup? Google DeepMind Co-Founder Thinks So Inc.

The Real A.I. Fight Is About Who Gets the Gains In These Times


Millions of Dollars of Pharma Money Went to the DSM-5-TR Authors Mad in America

Who is most efficient in health care? Study finds, surprisingly, it’s the VA

Groves of Academe

Rice University sets aside $33 million to settle price-fixing lawsuit Texas Tribune

Guillotine Watch

The Bezzle

Texas Is Considering a Controversial Land Swap Deal With SpaceX Gizmodo

Driverless 18-Wheelers To Roll Out In Texas Later This Year The Deep Dive

Our Famously Free Press

Music Journalism Can’t Afford A Hollowed-Out Pitchfork Defector

Class Warfare

Whatever the Supreme Court decides, California can’t keep criminalizing homelessness Cal Matters

LA’s Hugo Soto-Martinez Is Organizing Tenants Directly Jacobin

‘Greedflation’ caused more than half of last year’s inflation surge, study finds, as corporate profits remain at all-time highs Fortune

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    Re the Antidote du jour. If I were Papa bear, I would be asking for a DNA test, especially since Mama Bear was on holidays in the Arctic eight months previously.

    1. Wukchumni

      Pretty common for Sierra Nevada black bears to come in all shades-i’ve seen around a dozen that were 2-tone types where the upper body was brown and the legs tan, that sort of thing.

      7 years ago in Mineral King we had a bunch of bruins that looked as if they had gotten into some hydrogen peroxide and somebody termed them ‘the Billy Idol bears’, but i’d need them to also have matching lip snarls, to make the comparison work.

      Saw 9 black bears in 2023, right in line with recent numbers, although 2022’s total was 20, on account of high country bears beating a path down to Tiny Town, as the drought was really having an effect on them eating, as much of the usual berries and other fare wasn’t happening.

      I must be inching closer to 1,000 bears seen over my life, with many years of sightings in the low 30’s, with 1 year where I saw 54 bears.

      1. Lee

        Don’t know if its a common practice in your area, but in Yellowstone hydrogen peroxide is sometime used to mark critters of interest for easy visual identification. For example, such marking has been used as a carte blanche as it were to indicate bison that have tested negative for brucellosis and thus avoid being shot when in winter they migrate to local ranchlands that occupy the lower elevations outside the park.

      1. Ignacio

        …and which is already the same species as the black bear. A recessive character according to your link.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Baltic states to build new defences to bolster NATO’s eastern border ‘

    What they are actually building is what they call the Baltic Defense Line, which is their own version of the Maginot Line. Estonia alone is going to build about 600 concrete bunkers, each about 35 square meters in size and capable of housing 10 soldiers which will be part of a network of support points and supply lines. They will also have landmines, razor wire and “dragon’s teeth” anti-tank obstacles stored nearby in case of trouble. Of course some land owners will be ‘encouraged’ to sell their land for these bunkers. It will cost a mint to build and to maintain but you never know if the Russian Bear will come knocking at your front door, I guess. Hope they work better than the ones in the Ukraine- (13 secs)

    1. digi_owl

      Gets me thinking of a defensive line built in Northern Norway in case the red army invaded, that was finished just before USSR collapsed. And has since sat unused with a retired colonel as a caretaker.

  3. Matthew Cunningham-Cook

    I would advise NC readers to take Chris Arnade’s commentaries with a grain of salt. This was my comment on his Substack version of his article.

    “Chris, I just don’t think that you have a good handle on social policy in the US. The reason why there are so many homeless people in the US compared to say Central America is due to the cost of housing and the inability of the DEA to crack down on the supply of drugs coming into the US. The US has the smallest amount of public housing by far of any industrialized country and much of what was built was either privatized our demolished over the past forty years. (To that end, I’d highly recommend the Pruitt-Igoe Myth documentary.)

    You also neglect to discuss the decline of labor unions, which has been a deliberate policy choice over the past 45 years under bipartisan leadership. (One important union that has been crushed is the Greyhound bus drivers’ union.) From 1941 until 1979 or so, the best way for someone to get rehabilitated with a criminal record was to get a union job–this provided employment, benefits, meaning, and community. It was a critical way for people with addiction problems to stabilize themselves enough so that they would keep showing up to AA and NA. The destruction of these modes of communal life in the US has had grave consequences for social cohesion as you note. And the solution for them is not harping on the effects, as you seem to do, but to address the causes. The PRO Act, for example, would go a long way towards addressing this issue, combined with putting somebody like Lori Wallach in charge of the Commerce Department. We seem pretty far away from that.”

    1. Bugs

      Arnade seems like a decent enough fellow but he definitely is a small c conservative and his opinions on cause and effect reflect that. That said, deepest respect for his walk essays and reflections.

      1. nippersdad

        A glaring example of the cause and effect you note in the article was his casual mentions of taking an Uber. He seems not to realize that such services were designed to be a march to the bottom, turning comparatively well paid positions into gig work, and that his use of them was only serving to create the kinds of problems he decries.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          What if taxis had already been exterminated where-when Arnade wanted to travel? What if Uber was already the only thing left?

    2. Joe Well

      Thank you, I could not bring myself to read that.

      When rich people take an interest in ordinary people = Chris Arnade. Certainly not all bad, but no substitute for ahard data to understand things, or actual democracy for making policy.

    3. JohnnyGL

      I broadly agree with the thrust of your policy preferences. However, the one that should really be emphasized is the housing crisis and its connection to homelessness. There have been studies that show a pretty clear-cut connection.

      I think the refusal to invest in housing and community resources at state and local levels is a big one, too. Most democrat run cities like NYC are completely uninterested in problems that affect the working class.

      True-blue MA just cut the estate tax for wealthy households while the public transportation in this state continues to be beset by chronic problems.

    4. hk

      I wonder if you are being fair to where people like Arnade come from (without saying that Arnade et al are necessarily right).

      Policymaking tends to draw too much influence from “advocates” who are too much in love with the policy that they are proposing (and too confident in the righteousness of the people who came up with the big ideas behind them–i.e. themselves) and who care little about the beneficiaries of the policy. This is true in all fields of public policy, including housing, foreign policy, economic policy, etc. This leaves them both to being closed minded (as they won’t listen to even constructive criticisms of their ideas–i.e. themselves) and corruption (true believers are easy to “con”–I tend not to believe that grifters are not necessarily the ones “driving” bad policy producing lots of corruption, but are merely symbiotic–smug true believers “drive” the policymaking and the profiteers go for the ride peddling goods to those who would buy them without a second thought.

      I’ve always thought that Arnade’s motivations are driven by his experiences with these true believers: who have various pet ideas that they are eager to put into practice, whatever the people on the the receiving end thought of them. Perhaps their ideas are, in the end, right. Perhaps policy should be built around them, but they should at least make a good faith effort to get a “buy” from the recipients, try to convince them of the policy, and make even cosmetic modifications to them in process. We have often seen policymakers (are they actual true believers or grifters going along for the ride…who knows?) haughtily refuse to do this: they have often resorted to name calling and insults to those who don’t buy into their worldview–variants of “deplorables” come out of this mindset.

      In other words, I think the real target of skepticism by folks like Arnade (and well, I suppose, myself also) is at how the policy gets made more than the policy aims themselves. If we want to deal with the homelessness and poverty at home or democracy abroad, perhaps we should talk to the people who are directly affected by our policymaking rather than our friends and colleagues and try in earnest to get the former’s input.

    5. zach

      Interesting. I have mixed opinions about unions, but I didn’t know they accepted people with criminal histories (felonies that is). One point to their column.

      Because I am skeptical by nature, I asked the internet if that was actually true and came across a query posted to reddit, which corroborated your assertion. Many comments to the effect “if you don’t have a criminal history, you’re probably under-qualified.”

      That’s not the interesting part. What I found interesting was that although the comment thread was bereft of controversial takes, nude images, and (all things considered) light on foul language, reddit kept telling me the content was NSFW and asking if I was over 18.

      I guess talking, or asking, about unions if you have an IP address in the US is now on par with… pornography?

      1. chris

        “Content showing empowered workers! Lawd save us!” :)

        [Falls back on capitalist fainting couch…]

    6. Kontrary Kansan

      ” . . . the inability of the DEA to crack down on the supply of drugs coming into the US.”

      Color me skeptical. I wonder if rather than the DEA’s “inability,” not cracking down on drugs coming into the US as well as those produced here is a feature not a failing of the longstanding faux “war on drugs.” Continued production of, um, illicit drugs, both domestically and abroad, is a touchstone of US foreign policy and enhancements of domestic policing. Were illicit drug production and distribution to cease, or even be significantly moderated, persistent efforts to manage other nations’ affairs would take a decided nose dive, as would surveillance and disproportionate jailings of Black men.
      Recall how long so-called drug militarized drug suppression efforts flourished in Colombia. After a certain peace emerged there, recent applicants for US “assistance” in dealing with drugs and associated gang violence include Peru and Ecuador. Peru’s former President, Pedro Castillo, was overthrown, jailed, and replaced with an unpopular conservative government. Ecuador is even now undergoing “gang violence” that has NED/CIA fingerprints all over it. Could Ecuador’s close relation to China have anything to do with current instability?
      Consider, too, that domestic efforts to reduce illicit drug production, distrbution, and consumption focus on jailing producers and distributors, but not consumers. For the latter are reserved government-funded “treatment” and “rehabilitation” programs.
      Continuing drug suppression efforts afford the US a basis for foreign intervention and domestic suppresion.

    7. lambert strether

      > Arnade

      Arnade has a great eye, and an ear for the telling anecdote. Like so many conservatives, he’s strong on symptoms, and weak — not to say quackery-adjacent — on diagnosis and treatment. The “front row”/”back row” distinction, for example, though easy to deploy, is banal.

  4. .human

    If “homeless” are living in “camps”, then by definition they are not homeless, though a less than desired outcome. It becomes the responsibility of the state to properly legislate for and provide adequate resources for them. Neo-liberalism be damned.

    1. Skip Intro

      Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, give him a gun and he can eat whatever he wants.

      1. Jokerstein

        Build a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. Light a man on fire, and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.

    2. chris

      Sarc/But then MY tax dollars have to go to supporting things that I DON’T LIKE. Since I pay so much more in taxes than these grubby bottom feeders, why don’t I get to say what those resources go towards…

      Yeah. I don’t like what a lot of the homeless do. I don’t like their addiction. I don’t like them abusing public spaces. I don’t like them taking over prime camp grounds. I don’t like the disease and filth they bring to wherever they go. But they are human. A system we created is resulting in their suffering. How can we continue to persist as a society if this is how we treat the least among us? We can’t let this continue unabated. So we either have to change the system or we need to put more money into this problem in ways that actually help.

  5. noonespecial

    Re Cal Matters link on unhoused people: “Critiques of Martin and Grants Pass are also shortsighted. Studies are clear that enforcing these kinds of laws perpetuate homelessness and impose substantial health and material harms on unhoused people.”

    The cruelty seems to be the point and goal of these actions. To add to this s–tstorm, sharing the following link on a recent indictment of a pastor in Ohio for having the temerity of opening up his church to those seeking protection from the frigid winter nights experienced there recently.

    A few lines from the link:

    “Chris Avell, the pastor of an evangelical church called Dad’s Place in Bryan, Ohio, pleaded not guilty last Thursday to charges that he broke 18 restrictions in zoning code when he gave shelter to people who might otherwise have frozen to death…In November, officials told him Dad’s Place could no longer house the homeless because it lacks bedrooms. The building is zoned as a central business…Dad’s Place is located next to a homeless shelter, but overcrowding at the facility led Avell to begin offering space to unhoused people. “We have put in things people can use, like a shower and a small ability to do laundry,” the pastor toldThe Village Reporter in Bryan. “Some who found this to be a home for them have stuck around.”

    *bold is my addition* – So, 18 counts against Pastor Avell because he chose to invite people to sleep on pews and not on freezing concrete? sure, not at all a sign of a failed state (snarc)

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that the late JC would have words with the city fathers of Bryan, Ohio-

      ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

      If alive, he may have kicked over a few tables at the next city council meeting as well.

      1. IM Doc

        It is also a very appropriate use of that most American of courtroom outcomes. Jury nullification.

        If I were on a jury in a case like this, I would never dream of a guilty verdict. I seriously doubt I am alone.

        1. vao

          he broke 18 restrictions in zoning code when he gave shelter to people who might otherwise have frozen to death

          European laws usually have a provision severely punishing “non-assistance to a person in danger”. If those people were really in danger of freezing to death, I do not see how that pastor could be condemned just because he fulfilled his duty to rescue.

      2. John

        Stick to that and let the rest go. Do these particular “city fathers” call themselves Christians and even if not might they agree with one iteration or another of the Golden Rule or as I often phrase it, If you wish to be treated well yourself, do not treat other people like s—.

        That is not a difficult concept except for the really smug and complacent

      3. lyman alpha blob

        That pastor sounds like one of the few Xtians who takes Matthew 25:40 to heart –

        And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

      4. Feral Finster

        You can bet your bottom denarius that those selfsame city fathers invoke the late lamented JC at every opportunity.

        Not for me to judge individual cases, but I recall Christ saying something to the effect that “Not everyone that crieth out to me ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the Kingdom Of Heaven”.

    2. TomDority

      Yea – it’s pretty absurd that the separation of church and state can’t be had for a church to hold overnight prayers – form of participation being entirely personal

  6. Carlos

    U.S. to stop expanding natural gas to Europe, after convincing them to stop importing Russian gas, and then blowing up Nordtream so they no longer can?

    The Globalist Krauts actually believed Biden and all that Democracy in Ukraine B.S? Suckers!

    Like a drowning man, America will drag down its only real industrial competitor to further itself and promote the return to Medieval times for first the Euros, then their own people. “No gas for you Foix.” That’s the latest P.C. version, with a transgender twist, of Obama’s “folks.”

    1. Mikel

      I keep saying: ultimately corporations do not want ANY government to have the power to curtail the path to a rabid neo-feudalism.

    2. Mikel

      There’s also this to consider: Maybe its a ploy to ramp up pressure on countries who are part of the EU/NATO projects to go after Russia if they want energy.

    3. digi_owl

      Them globalists already have a plot set aside in Florida or some such for when the sewage starts spinning…

    4. Feral Finster

      “The Globalist Krauts actually believed Biden and all that Democracy in Ukraine B.S? Suckers!”

      They believed because they wanted to believe, and they wanted to believe because that was the path of least resistance.

  7. eg

    “Moose, Maple Syrup and Monopolies: Is Canada Finally Taking on Its Oligarchs?”

    Canada — making the world safe for oligopoly since 1867 …

    1. Sub-Boreal


      For an entertaining wallow in Canuck oligopoly p0rn, check out this recent podcast series. All the greatest hits of maple leaf cartels are there, starting with the Hudson’s Bay Co. and ending with the contemporary dynasties in groceries, telecom etc.

  8. The Rev Kev

    ⚡ 🇾🇪🇮🇱Reports from Yemen that the Houthis plan to close all three waterways in the Middle East.
    According to an exclusive Yemeni source, Ansarullah is considering implementing a plan they call the ‘Al-Aqsa Triangle’, by closing all three of the Middle East’s major waterways: Bab Al-Mandab, Strait of Hormuz, and the Suez Canal. This will stop the oil and gas feeding Israel from Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.’

    Don’t believe this for a moment. It would stretch Yemeni capabilities too far for limited results. And they will not get themselves involved with the Strait of Hormuz as that is Iran’s front yard. Israel will still get oil as it goes through Türkiye no matter what Erdogan tells the Arab world. My guess that Ansarullah is saying this to try to force US and EU ships to try to cover those two regions and thin them out locally in the Red Sea.

    1. Vandemonian

      As I understand it, the Houthis’ blockade of the Bab al-Mandab Strait is designed to (a) stop freight destined for Israel, and (b) stop ships owned by Israeli interests, no matters how many cutouts and shell companies are in place along the chain of ownership.

      That said, Operation Prosperity Guardian may have encouraged the Houthis to widen the scope of their action.

  9. griffen

    Poor Ron, you are not winning and it seems unlikely that you’ll beat Haley in New Hampshire. Leading your state is going to look, and feel, a lot different if you were to somehow slip into the White House as the 47th US President and lead an entire country…FFS…

    Seems inevitable that DeSantis (DeSatan?) takes his marbles and returns to Florida to play out another term.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Like ex-Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, he went from a big frog in a little pond into a little frog in a big pond and it showed. In any case, the uniparty does not want DeSantis but they do want Neocon Nikki, even if most people don’t.

    2. undercurrent

      Newsflash! Reports just in: Florida Governor Ron Desantis has lost his marbles; marbles reportedly upset and frustrated at being inside Desantis’ head; marbles believed moving to Nicky Haley’s noggin, plenty of empty space, it’s alleged, to accommodate their number.

      1. chris

        Not sure. I think she’ll stay in for a while to present a “reasonable” alternative to Trump in case he is lawfared off the ballots. Nikki is probably still the conservative elites pick of the crazy RNC litter.

        What could happen with DeSantis dropping out is a further bump for RFK jr.

        1. Carolinian

          According to Turley at least there’s almost no chance the ballot blocking will stand. The only question is whether liberal justices will agree.

          The rest of the legal is maneuvering well down the road.

          In any case in the real world as opposed to Haley’s world there was never much chance for Haley to become the nom and recently she has shown why. For many Republicans she’s a divisive figure.

        2. griffen

          Fund raisers for Nikki…sound the cry and hue for the “well intended” billionaires of the American conservatives.

          Going long for marketing and some late splash ad spending.

  10. i just don't like the gravy

    > Can an AI Become Its Own CEO After Creating a Startup? Google DeepMind Co-Founder Thinks So

    You’ve got to be family-blogging kidding me.

    What future do these stupid freaks think they will be living in?

    AI went from a boyhood dream of mine to a lame, banally evil reality.

    Climate catastrophe better hurry along and stop this tomfoolery. I’m watching the CO2 PPM accumulate every day.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      This future – another scifi dystopia taken as an instruction manual.

      Link is to a free version of Charlie Stross’ book Accelerando, which I highly recommend to NC scifi fans. I recommend even more that you order a copy of the real book from your local independent bookstore.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          It’s not a series, as noted above. I believe it was a few related short stories and novellas at first, and then he collected them into the book Accelerando. The book itself has three sections, each taking place further into the future – that table of contents in the link might have made it look like it was three separate books.

      1. digi_owl

        Love the background story for that book, with Stross working as a programmer for an early UK online payment provider and having to deal with the horror that was the various bank and credit card backends.

        That said, perusing his blog is yet another reminder of the old adage about not meeting one’s heroes.

  11. Wukchumni

    Come let us be glad we’ll have new settlements
    Come let us be glad
    Come let us be glad
    And rejoice over Gaza

    Come let us be glad we’ll have new settlements
    Come let us be glad
    Come let us be glad
    And rejoice over Gaza

    Arise brethren, IDF plays a big part
    Arise brethren, IDF plays a big part
    Arise brethren, IDF plays a big part
    Arise brethren, IDF plays a big part

    Flying Circle, by Frank Slay (the best surfer music Hava Nagila ever!)

  12. The Rev Kev

    “These Tiny Creatures Become Cannibals After Sex Turns Deadly”

    ‘Each year, all antechinus males drop dead at the end of a one to three week breeding season, poisoned by their own raging hormones. This is because the stress hormone cortisol rises during the breeding period. At the same time, surging testosterone from the super-sized testes in males causes a failure in the biological mechanism that mops up the cortisol. The flood of unbound cortisol results in systemic organ failure and the inevitable, gruesome death of every male.’

    There is a special project to insert specialized genes from the male human genome into the antechinus male genome. The hoped effect is that immediately after having sex, that the antechinus male will immediately roll over and just go to sleep instead.

  13. MaryLand

    Re Bigfoot: I asked my grandson if his shirt had a picture of a gorilla on it. He replied, “No, Grandma, that’s Bigfoot. You know, the guy who had one big foot and one little foot.” I said I think both of his feet were big, but grandson said no then he would have been called “Bigfeet!” How did we not realize this all these years!

  14. Eric Anderson

    “Late Stage Capitalism’s Hostile Architecture”

    Well done Ms. Wallace. Obvious truths seldom discussed. We need more of it.

    1. Mikel

      “I think much of the American population has a “hazing mentality” as in, I suffer to keep a roof over my head, why can’t they do the same?”

      Like the writer was reading my mind.

      1. digi_owl

        A remnant of puritanism subsumed into the cultural psyche, driving everything from army boot camp to college fraternities?

        1. Mikel

          For the current establishment in the USA, it could be a remnant of puritanism. Other parts of the world have their own versions of this.

  15. Cassandra

    From The Gauntlet link:

    Last week, the US Senate Committee on HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) announced a hearing on Long COVID. The reaction among patients and advocates was instant, loud, and joyous; finally, the government would acknowledge the worsening crisis. Finally, elected officials were saying the words “Long COVID.” (Joe Biden, for the record, still has never said nor tweeted the words Long COVID; tens of millions are now suffering with it thanks to his mass infection-normalizing policies).

    Joe Biden has been cosplaying Grampa Ronnie for years now. His silence about the contemporary epidemic is only to be expected. Reagan only spoke out about AIDS on the day a personal friend succumbed to the disease. Previously, his spokesman mocked a journalist who questioned the administration’s policy towards an unchecked epidemic. Sound familiar?

    Perhaps if dear Hunter comes down with serious complications from Covid, there might be some attitude adjustment. But I’m not holding my breath.

    1. chris

      The idea of Hunter and Father Joe being permanently disabled by a viral plague that Joe ignored while President is chef’s kiss perfect. Not going to happen though.

      I think we’ll see that Hunter’s nearly embalmed internals provide him the same kind of immortality as Keith Richards. Hard to have any nasal pathways to infect when you’ve sandblasted them for years… As for Joe, he hasn’t been struct dead by lightning so we’ll have to live with no justice in this universe. He’ll survive for whatever period of time he has left and then all the good people will mourn him as a hero of the Republic. Maybe they’ll offer debt relief to students who volunteer to be pallbearers?

  16. Lee

    “These Tiny Creatures Become Cannibals After Sex Turns Deadly Science Alert”

    “Each year, all antechinus males drop dead at the end of a one to three week breeding season, poisoned by their own raging hormones.

    “This is because the stress hormone cortisol rises during the breeding period. At the same time, surging testosterone from the super-sized testes in males causes a failure in the biological mechanism that mops up the cortisol. The flood of unbound cortisol results in systemic organ failure and the inevitable, gruesome death of every male.”

    Now that’s toxic masculinity.

  17. Amfortas the Hippie

    this was all over the place yesterday.
    came across it on Leonardi’s twitter first:

    i admit that i get totally lost in the weeds with this molecular biology stuff…but we have a handful of experts in residence, no?
    that Leonardi seemed to take it seriously makes me lean towards “its real”…which would make this the crime to beat all crimes…apparently one dude in the lab goin rogue(hyperfocused on his experiments, unconscious of how bad it could go*)…then the leading lights covering it up?
    mass manslaughter?
    is there even a word for this?

    (* akin to the folks at Cern accidentally rending spacetime, or something)

    1. lyman alpha blob

      RE: is there even a word for this?

      How bout “craking“?

      Full credit to Margaret Atwood from her MaddAddam trilogy, finished a few years before the rona started. A geneticist deliberately releases a plague on humanity, killing most of the human population. Feral hogs also help. Wish she hadn’t been so prescient, but she kinda nailed it with those books.

      1. Michaelmas

        Better, more original writers preceded Atwood with this concept decades ago —

        The Last Flight of Dr. Ain” is a 1969 science fiction short story by James Tiptree, Jr. a pen name for American psychologist Alice Sheldon. The story was first published in Galaxy Science Fiction, but has since been reprinted at least 44 times in various anthologies and publications, earning a position as one of the most republished medical science fiction stories of all time. Nominated for a 1969 Nebula Award, the story … together with The Screwfly Solution by the same author, are prominent examples of human eradication by biological warfare in science fiction, and wider, the folly of mankind to destroy itself, either by ecological devastation, or by violence.

        The story details the international flights of the main character, Dr. Ain, who travels across major international ports, spreading an engineered bioweapon derived from an unnamed leukemia virus via an aerosolized oral anesthetic spray, seeds and crumbs coated in the virus, and through his own illness … the spreading deleterious effects of the virus against a backdrop of environmental destruction, and the personification of the Earth itself as a character.

        …As the story progresses, the personification of earth becomes clearer, where at the beginning of the story the references were merely to a female passenger with him, by the end of the story, Dr. Ain waxes on about the Earth in poem, suggesting that bears may be the new dominant species before succumbing to his illness.

          1. Michaelmas

            Other mentionable books: Gore Vidal – Kalki

            Yes, indeed. I re-read KALKI last year.

            Very much a product of the 1970s and of Gore Vidal’s particular talents and outlooks, and yet it stood up rather well — like a fine wine, in fact, KALKI seemed improved with time and Gore a better fiction-writer than I recalled.

            At least in this and MESSIAH, his somewhat similar 1954 novel about a death-worshipping mass religion that replaces Christianity in the US, which I also re-read —

            In both books, there’s graceful writing and some thoughts that other authors — American authors, certainly — just wouldn’t put down on paper if they even thought them.

            The Herbert is servicable.

    2. MaryLand

      Well it does help keep the population down. Maybe the Davos guys see it as an easy way to fix climate change. Won’t affect them of course. /s

  18. Benny Profane

    Pretty sure Schwarzman and his ilk aren’t worried about trillion dollar defects and debt to GDP, they’re tired of the Dem neocon club that is blowing up the fragile capitalist world order and it’s supply chains with a new war every month. Re: The standing O Xi got from the silicon valley oligarchs a little while ago. And they’re probably not that dumb to think that BRICs and it’s implications are a fantasy.

  19. Es s Ce tera

    re: Study finds bigfoot sightings correlate with black bear populations Ars Technica

    Didja know rail riding hobos wear ghillies to hide from bulls, especially when camping in bushes near railways and railyards?

    And a person in a ghillie suit looks a LOT like a bigfoot? Especially if they have a long grizzly beard, like some hobos I know.

    And hunters wear ghillies too, even though they’re supposed to wear bright orange or red…

    Just saying.

    1. Carolinian

      I had to look up what a ghillie is. I believe the official US Army term for this is “pickle suit.”

      And I’m not sure how many rail riding hoboes are active these days. Those intermodal containers don’t offer much accomodation.

        1. Carolinian

          Seems to be about rv-ers….already covered by Nomadland and there’s even a Francis McDormand Nomadland movie.

          There are tracks near my trails and I hardly ever see box cars. Most freight is in containers these days.

        2. barefoot charley

          It’s a riff-raff scene. They often ride the rails in flocks, stashed in hollows by the car couplings, so riff-raff tell me. No more empty boxcars like there were when I was riff-raffy . . .

  20. junez

    Stephen Schwarzman as an illustration of “Elements of the Davos class **are preparing to defect to the Trump/populist movement**” is unconvincing. He was a major Trump supporter in 2020: “Blackstone Group chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman, ‘I supported President Trump and the strong economic path he built,’ Schwarzman said in a statement to the publication.”

    1. cfraenkel

      It’s a category error. The ‘Davos class’ don’t belong to one side or the other. They see themselves as the puppeteers.

  21. nippersdad

    Ukraine just got thrown under the bus in both Politico and The Hill this morning when they finally reported on the deliberate targeting of civilians in Donetsk city.

    This has been going on now for ten years, but that it has finally become newsworthy surely says something about how the Biden Admin plans on winding it down. Along with the article about potentially not sending more gas to Europe, it looks like they are just throwing their hands up and walking away. It being an election year certainly appears to have concentrated some minds.

    1. Daryl

      Amazing how spiteful they are, using shells to mass murder civillians at a time when they’re having to heavily ration their use.

      1. JohnA

        It is an easy PR scoop for Ukraine. Most Russian military bases/strongholds are covered by missile defence systems that shoot down Ukrainian attacks. Attacking undefended civilian areas means bigger chances of success and therefore showing the west Ukraine is still able to inflict damage on Russians. And so keep Zelensky’s begging bowl topped up.

        1. Polar Socialist

          In principle Ukraine and The West considers these civilians as Ukrainians under a brutal occupation.

          It tells something about the level of the propaganda and lack of any critical thinking in media that they can be shelled by Ukrainians for 9 years and yet be considered victims of Russia in need of liberation.

          1. Feral Finster

            Ukrainians in my experience try to have it both ways – on the one hand the residents of Donbass are brothers under occupation, but at the same time hated as subhumans.

        2. nippersdad

          It is also now being reported in Yahoo news. Don’t you think it is strange that suddenly the MSM wants to out Ukraine for what are clear war crimes? The pattern has been to attribute any possible thing to the Russians; Bucha, Ukrainian missiles hitting a mall, a Polish tractor or a hospital. But even just as recently as Christmas they were covering up a similar Ukrainian attack on a holiday bazaar in Russia.

          While such things may excite the Nazis over there, here it will wear a completely different look. It may not be the PR victory they are looking for, and that is why I am wondering if this is not the first step in a narrative discrediting them so that our neocons can get out from under the Ukrainian albatross they have made for themselves.

        3. The Rev Kev

          Just wait until the main stream media notice that there are Nazis in the Ukraine. Articles appeared about them over the years but when the war started, all mention of them mostly vanished.

    2. begob

      Also reported on BBC radio news bulletins, without leaving the source of the destruction unsaid. Unthinkable before this. But how tiresome to see evidence of such coordination among media outlets.

  22. Tom Stone

    The United States is undergoing Societal collapse and it is awash in guns.
    Given those facts do you know the four rules of firearm safety and could you, if needed, pick up a firearm and safely unload it?
    Here are the “:Four rules of gun safety”, they ARE NOT SUGGESTIONS.
    1) Always treat every firearm as though it were loaded.

    2) Never point your weapon at anything you are not willing to destroy.

    3) Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

    4) Always clearly identify your target and what lies beyond it.

    And a safety tip, when you have unloaded a firearm always stick your pinky into the chamber and do a touch test to ensure that it is unloaded.
    In my six decades of firearms ownership I have been present on three occasions when an “Unloaded gun”
    went BANG!
    Fortunately all three were pointed in a safe direction at the time.
    Be responsible and never forget that when you pick up a gun one of the lives you hold in your hands is your own.

    1. cgregory

      The fifth rule of responsible behavior for gun owners is, “You are responsible for the weapon’s use if you ever, ever let it escape from your control. You cannot sell it, pawn it, lend it, lose it, give it away or leave it unsecured. As it is designed to kill, it is not just another household accoutrement. If the trusted friend who receives it from you ever passes it to another who commits a crime with it twenty years later, you will be held equally responsible for its criminal employment. As its owner, your creed is, “You can have my weapon when you unglue it from my cold, dead fingers.”

      This rule by itself will save annually the lives of ~11,000 people who are killed by second-hand guns.

    2. .human

      The number 0 commonsensical rule is if you are not familiar with an items use or function don’t touch it or ask for assistance.

  23. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: FBI And Secret Service Are Covering Up Their Role In Alleged January 6 “Pipe Bomb” Plot, New Evidence Suggests Public

    The entire J6 “narrative” stinks. Thankfully, more and more americans are realizing it.

    …They [the fbi] are very lawyerly with their words,” O’Boyle said. “In some of their manufactured terrorism cases they have provided what the subject thought was a ‘viable’ explosive device, but in actuality wasn’t since the explosive component isn’t built into the ‘bomb.’”

    The FBI released CCTV videos and photos of the suspect holding a cell phone and possibly texting. The phone would allow the FBI to find the user based on the time and location. However, the data from the phone company that could have identified the suspected bomber was mysteriously corrupted.

    jeezus h. christ.

    Darren Beattie from Revolver News goes through the video for Tucker.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The UK won’t have that problem with their steel workers. It is my understanding that their last steel works has shut down a little while ago. Don’t know how they will go for making tanks and the like anymore.

      1. CA

        January 19, 2024

        Britain’s Largest Steel Mill to Become Greener, at a Cost of Jobs
        Tata Steel said it would replace blast furnaces with an electric furnace, a move that will cut emissions but also as many as 2,800 jobs.
        By Stanley Reed

        Tata Steel said Friday that it planned to shut down the blast furnaces at Britain’s largest steel mill, in Port Talbot, Wales, and replace them with an electric furnace — a move that would cut carbon emissions but could cost 2,800 jobs.

        The company, part of the India-based Tata conglomerate, says the steel mill, much of which dates back to the 1950s, has frequently lost money.

        “The course we are putting forward is difficult, but we believe it is the right one,” the company’s chief executive, T.V. Narendran, said in a statement. “We must transform at pace to build a sustainable business in the U.K. for the long term.” He said Tata had invested almost 5 billion pounds (about $6 billion) in the British business since 2007, when Tata bought the mill.

        Last year, the British government offered £500 million in support of Tata’s plan, which has an estimated price tag of up to £1.25 billion.

        Although the announcement was not a surprise, unions representing workers at the plant said they were angry that their proposals to save jobs had been rejected. The plant, one of only two big steel mills left in Britain, employs around 4,000 people, and it was unclear how many of the job cuts would take place at Port Talbot; Tata employs around 8,000 people in Britain…

  24. Jason Boxman

    So, spoiler, the earlier oral bacteria weren’t great for you, either.

    The team further determined that the Streptococcus group was associated with the presence of periodontal disease, which is characterized by infections and inflammation of the gums and bones around the teeth. When this disease progresses, bacteria can enter the bloodstream through gum tissue and potentially cause respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, and blood sugar issues in diabetes. The Methanobrevibacter group, on the other hand, was associated with the presence of skeletal pathologies.

    (bold mine)

    From: The Black Death’s Surprising Impact on Today’s Oral Health

    1. juno mas

      This is why dental healthcare needs to be included in any health insurance plan. Treating oral health early is essential to your general medical health later in life.

  25. Mikel

    “There’s something extremely important here that is not being recognized, but those who can read between the lines are realizing it and it’s scaring the shit out of people:

    Elements of the Davos class **are preparing to defect to the Trump/populist movement.**

    A thread🧵:

    Not surprising at all. And nothing about any movement within the cult of the corporation should really be considered “populist.” Or at least, such movements shouldn’t be the all-encompassing definition of “populism.”

    1. Daniil Adamov

      What on Earth is the “populist movement”? There is either no such thing or there are many different populist movements. The Trump one being open to cooperating with “elements of the Davos class”, and vice versa, doesn’t seem like news.

  26. Mikel

    “The Real A.I. Fight Is About Who Gets the Gains” In These Times

    “This is not a fight between a backwards-looking labor movement on one side, and technological progress on the other. Rather, this is a question of where the wealth and efficiency gains created by AI will flow.”

    Swap “central banks” for the word “AI” in that one sentence and see that it’s literally the same thing.

      1. Glen

        Way back about 1987 some joker in the office installed the talking moose on all of our computers. After one day the boss said if somebody didn’t get that [family blogging] moose off his computer by the end of the day, he was going to throw everybody’s computer out!

        Original Talking Moose

        But in the moose’s defense, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t data scrapping and selling ads.

  27. playon

    Washington’s solar permitting leaves tribal resources vulnerable to corporations

    Having grown up in central WA I’m very familiar with the area. It’s surprising to me that other sites for solar aren’t being considered — the Badger Mountain site, while conveniently close to the tri-cities (Richland, Pasco & Kennewick) is hardly the only spot in eastern WA with abundant sun (and wind). Kudos to Ms Palmer and the tribes for standing up to these people. Hopefully WA government will see the light and cancel or otherwise reign in the developers of this project.

      1. Dissident Dreamer

        Thanks but Safari won’t let me open it. “Address is invalid”.

        Did you read it? Anything interesting?

  28. Screwball

    DeSantis has dropped out. It’s all over Twitter. Down to Trump vs. Haley vs. Biden.

    Ain’t we lucky?

    1. Carolinian

      Assuming Biden lasts until November. Seems likely the Repubs are with Trump all the way regardless of what happens legally.

      1. chris

        Biden will not be allowed to die or give up until he “wins” another term. They will literally drag his corpse over the line before they accept Trump gets a second term. And if there’s any doubt of that plan succeeding, they will preemptively put laws in place to box in what Trump is allowed to do, like with the NATO limitation just recently passed. I don’t see how we get through this without a coup. Soft or hard. By the establishment or its opposition or the intelligence agencies. I think we’ll see Oswald’s ghost before this year is done.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>I think we’ll see Oswald’s ghost before this year is done.

          A revolt or a civil war? It is likely, but not a sure thing.

    2. Mikel

      Haley is already dumbfounded by Trump’s campaign style:
      “Nikki Haley questions Trump’s mental fitness after he appears to confuse her for Nancy Pelosi”

      That’s exactly the kind of thing Pelosi would do!
      He’s already succeeding in equating her with Pelosi (hated by segments of Republicans) and the imagery alone saves words and time. So Haley calls more attention to the statements and ends up making them more effective.

      1. Carolinian

        You didn’t offer a link but I put the quote into search and got a full 20 link page of links to the same Haley citation. The media are desperate to save their gal.

        Meanwhile the Daily Mail scandal story about Haley that Lambert put up Friday is being ignored.

        Of course those 20 links are to Dem leaning outlets. Can Nikki save herself by preaching to the non Republican converted? Being her she will try.

    1. Travis Kendall

      Really interesting, thanks! TL:DR, ICE vehicles are 2x more likely to need a tow truck for cold starting issues, adjusted for thier proportion of the national fleet. Sent me down a Norway electric car rabbit hole. 87% of new cars sold in Norway are electric, wow!

  29. JBird4049

    >>>Late Stage Capitalism’s Hostile Architecture LA Progressive

    About twenty years ago while walking to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum across from the civic plaza, along the court buildings on that side, I started to notice various spikes and needle thingies on the low window sills that were just the perfect height, width, and length for someone to sit or sleep on. I thought perhaps that they were for the pigeons, but the birds really do not like those sills and that northern edge of the whole plaza is really barren of everything except concrete and granite. It still has those stupid needles.

    The interesting thing is that while I have never seen the homeless in any numbers around the City Hall, which is just a fantastic example of Beaux-Arts architecture, the eastern and southern parts of the plaza, has them in great numbers. They are shoved into the city’s little special we care homeless encampment on that short street between the museum and the Main Library, which itself is surrounded and full of the homeless, right across that street. There is the central plaza itself, which has never been inviting.

    It is a nice encapsulation of the power structure. City Hall has no homeless, the two museums, which are the favorite of the elites, have some, and the library, which is for the whole public, is a large and permanent homeless encampment.

  30. Mikel

    “Miracle in Reverse” Phenomenal World

    Miracle in reverse vibes showcased in “Squid Game,” “Parasite”….

    1. ambrit

      I gat a “Video Unavailable” screen. It says “Removed by the uploader.”
      YouTube really is falling off of a cliff.
      What’s the chance of us seeing soon a sub-orbital “Pirate Internet” system? (Like Ye Olde English ‘Pirate Radio’ offshore broadcasters.)
      It gives new meaning to the question of how high a nation’s “airspace” goes.

  31. Gerry

    “Who is most efficient in health care? Study finds, surprisingly, it’s the VA”

    This is a better way to go than Medicare for All for universal healthcare: VA for All. It wouldn’t be necessary to make it exclusive. Have it be in competition with private care and insurance. People would be free to buy their own coverage or services but VAFA would offer low cost healthcare to the general public on a sliding scale based on means. VAFA could select and train public spirited people to be practitioners and provide alternative services as well as standard medical care. Healthcare for purpose not for profit.

    1. ambrit

      Sounds suspiciously like the Chinese “Barefoot Doctors” program from the days of the Emperor Mao.
      Now, we in the West have a “Barefoot Doctor Kevorkians” program a-borning.

    2. chris

      I don’t know if you have any experience with the VA, but as a child of a veteran, and a person who has had to take their parent to appointments at the local VA hospital, it is a soul crushing experience. It is tragic how we treat our veterans.

      If you told me that the goal of a national Healthcare system was to give everyone what the VA provides, you would see the quickest turn around from M4A imaginable. I believe one of the reasons the VA is run so poorly is to dissuade people from trying to implement a national healthcare system.

      1. Gerry

        My point is that the government should provide the care, not pay some for-profit company to provide it. The intention would be to upgrade the VA, not dump people into a neglected and under-resourced VA as it currently exists. If we are going to wish for solutions, they should be properly designed and resourced.

  32. Martin Oline

    For those who may be interested, there is a discussion on the Viva Frei program with guest Robert Barnes on YouTube about a court case in Georgia where a Democrat is suing the Republican Sec. of State about the Dominion voting machines’ reliability and how they can be hacked, which was apparently demonstrated by an expert ‘live’ in court. The MSM is ignoring the case. The relevant part begins at 29:30 to the 37 minute mark.

    1. rowlf

      Thank you for posting this. Georgia voting has a rich history of hinkyness. Some cynical Georgians suggest Atlanta should be required to vote two days before the rest of the state due to several decades of last minute problems.

      I was hoping to dig up a recent case where an Atlanta assembly person received zero votes even though she voted for herself. An oops was called, but imagine if she had a reasonable but not winning number recorded?

    2. marym

      I’m interested! Thank you. I posted a comment with some additional information but I may have deleted it. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

      1. marym

        Ok trying again:

        Georgia is one of the few states that doesn’t have hand-marked paper ballots for in-person election day voting. 2020 was the first year they used these machines, supposedly to address problems with their prior method of voting, though I don’t know the details of that history. There was a legal struggle over releasing the full unredacted findings of the election expert, J. Alex Halderman, referenced in the AP post as an expert witness in this trial. He tweeted about his findings at the time and the full report was eventually released in 2023.

        Thanks again for the heads up about the trial.

        1. Yves Smith

          DO NOT EVER “try again”! We tell commenters REPEATEDLY never to do that!

          First you are wasting the time of our overloaded mods.

          Second, you are training our third party spam software to see you as a spammer. Once you are tagged as a spammer, you are done. We get thousands of spam comments a day and are not about to go digging in that cesspit to see if any bona fide ones got snagged.

          1. marym

            My apologies, Yves. I submitted the comment, and saw that it was in moderation, which was fine, it happens. Then I wanted to make a change, so I deleted it during the edit time. I thought when it didn’t re-appear out of moderation that the delete had taken effect. I always regret when a comment goes to moderation, knowing it makes more work for the mods.

  33. John D.

    The POLITICO piece about DeSantis’ horrid campaign is amusing, but its title is certainly debatable. IMO, when it comes to “the Worst Campaign in History,” its hard to beat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 effort.

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